The South Carolina Human Affairs Law prohibits employment discrimination with respect to an individual's compensation because of the individual's race, religion, color, sex, age, national origin, or disability (SC Code Sec. 1-13-80). The Law applies to public employers and private employers with 15 or more employees, including unions and employment agencies.
Wage differentials are permissible when they are based on:
• A bona fide seniority or merit system
• A system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production
• Different work locations
• Exceptions authorized under the federal Equal Pay Act
The South Carolina Human Affairs Commission enforces the Human Affairs Law. The Commission has the authority to receive, investigate, and settle discrimination complaints. It is also authorized to conduct administrative hearings of discrimination claims and bring lawsuits in state court on behalf of individuals alleging discrimination.
Decisions of the Commission are appealable to the South Carolina court system by either the employer or the employee. After exhausting administrative remedies, individuals alleging discrimination can bring private lawsuits in state court to enforce their rights under the law.